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Full text of "Shapes of clay (Oct. 1927)"

HAPES OF CLAY 




OCTOBER'1927 



GLADDING, McBEAN & CO. 




Beauty's the light that leads — a potent lure- 
But past the threshold lies that magic vault 
Where thrift is turned to gold. 



■Francis 



RAPES OF CLAY 



Volume hi 




Number 9 



OCTOBER' 1927 



In Southernmost California 

THE first structure ever reared by white men on the soil of Alta 
California was the Mission of San Diego, founded by Padre Junipero 
Serra on July 16, 1769. It was a rude makeshift affair, and was re' 
placed, as soon as the progress of settlement permitted, by the substantial 
building that still exists. From this newer San Diego Mission arose that 
Mission style of architecture which is such a typical feature of present-day 
California. San Diego, therefore, has an architectural history embracing one 
hundred and fifty years. 

During the Spanish and Mexican eras, when San Diego was a pastoral 
paradise, many haciendas were built not unworthy of comparison with 
those ancient farmhouses of Old Spain that are so much admired and cop- 
ied today. But when the American occupation of California took place, 
the settlers who poured in brought no architectural ideals with them, or 
else abandoned them in the excitement of colonization. Architecturally 
speaking, San Diego County, like practically all the rest of California, made 
no advance for decades. 

Looking back now over that period, one can afford to smile at the naive 
homage that was accorded the Coronado Hotel, almost sublimely spacious 
in its four acres of structures, but diminished to mid-Victorian pettiness 
by its jigsaw translation of Sullivanesque into terms of mill-work. Office- 



SHAPES OF CLAY 

building and domestic architecture was equally debased. These were the 
doldrums of San Diego architecture. May not the well-deserved vogue of 
Helen Hunt Jackson's Ramona be given some credit for awakening home' 
builders in southernmost California? That admirable story ,with its appeal' 
ing depiction of home'life on a great rancho, must have aroused many sensi' 
tive persons to the ugliness of their surroundings by opening their eyes to 
the beauty and charm of the Missions and the haciendas that were still 
standing. 

Then came a group of southern California architects, with Bertram 
Goodhue, to put the stamp of their genius upon the exquisite Panama- 
California International Exposition, and San Diego began to take a distin- 
guished part in that renaissance of architecture that is drawing so much 
attention to the Pacific Coast. 

Of modern Mission, strictly so called, San Diego now has many fine ex' 
amples, as also of that delightful range of adaptations variously known as 
Spanish'Californian, Mexican-Californian, and Mediterranean, with those 
pleasant elements of the Baroque and Plateresque that San Diego archi' 
tects subdue to the dictates of a delicate taste. San Diego is constantly 
acquiring, not only in these, but in other styles of architecture, schools and 
public buildings, hotels, office structures, and homes that command the ad' 
miration of the most exacting critics. 

Father Serra and his fellow-missionaries came from Spain to Mexico 
and from Mexico to California. In the first letter he wrote from San Diego 
to the City of Mexico, Father Serra said: "We found vines of a large size, 
and in some cases quite loaded with grapes. We also found abundance 
of roses, which appeared to be the same as those of Castile." 11 In short, Cal' 
ifornia reminded those first missionaries of home. And so, on this congenial 
soil, they planted the architecture of Spain and Spanish Mexico. In partic 
ular, the Latin roof tile is as old as the history of California. 

Fortunately for the development of a native note in architecture, by the 
time that California's renaissance was flowering, Gladding, McBean 6? Co. 
had developed a superb series of Latin roof tiles far superior in every way 
to those that the converted Indians made under missionary direction, and 



IN SOUTHERNMOST CALIFORNIA 

surpassing them especially in range of color and richness of texture. These 
Latin tiles, as is apparent in the pictures presented here, are a notable fea' 
ture of San Diego architecture, and their inherent attractiveness is enhanced 
by their historical propriety. And Gladding, McBean 6? Co/s decorative 
tile, of course, acknowledges Spain and Mexico among its major influences. 

For terracotta and face brick as these have been developed on the Pa' 
cific Coast by Gladding, McBean &? Co. there is distinguished ancient 
precedent in Old and New Spain. Other Latin influences (notably the 
Italian) are observable in the application of these beautiful materials; but 
no precedent need be pleaded for their use anywhere on the Pacific Coast 
from British Columbia to San Diego— they justify themselves overwhelm' 
ingly not only in terms of beauty and utility, but also by reason of their 
perfect congeniality in reference to our western climate and our western 
culture. 

San Diego has its roots in the past, but today it is a splendid American 
city, and a monumental structure like the Medico'Dental Building is as 
much at home there as the Castilian rose. This fourteen'Story and base' 
ment class'A building was designed in modernly adapted Italian Renais' 
sance because, says F. W. Stevenson, its architect, "this style best expresses 
the character of a professional office building, and is so suitable to south' 
ern California." The selection of materials is thus explained by Mr. Ste' 
venson: 

"A careful study was made as to the materials which would be most 
effective in carrying out the design of the exterior. A combination of terra' 
cotta and face brick was ultimately decided upon. The three lower stories, 
the top story (which was set back on the street fronts to provide a prom' 
enade deck around two sides), and the trim of the building are in terra' 
cotta. The shaft or main body is of brick. The fourteenth story is roofed 
with Granada tile. All these materials were furnished by Gladding, Mc- 
Bean 6? Co. 

"Four reasons influenced the use of terra-cotta: First, terracotta's econ' 
omy in weight; second, the possibility of getting the texture and the 
variegated coloring in the wall that I so much desired; third, the perma' 




I ' Medico-Dental Building, San Diego. F. W. Stevenson, architect. Wm. Simpson Construction Co., general con- 
tractors. This fourteen-story structure is clothed in Gladding, McBean & Co. materials. Smooth Granitex 
terra-cotta and smooth wire-cut face brick, both in variegated warm shades, were com- 
bined for the facades, while the roof is of Varicolor Granada tile. 




Medico-Dental Building, San Diego. F. W. Stevenson, architect. Wm. Simpson Construction Co., general con- 
tractors. Gladding, McBean 6? Co. produced for the lower story a rusticated Granitex terra-cotta 
with a dragged surface that gives a splendid texture to the walls. This effect was 
particularly sought by the architect of the building. 



SHAPES OF CLAY 

nency of terra-cotta, and the ease with which its impervious surface can 
be kept always clean; fourth, the plasticity of terra-cotta, which makes it 
possible to carry out economically the desired ornamental details. In no 
other material can these results be obtained. 

"For the body of the building a face brick of warm variegated shades 
harmonizing with yet considerably darker than the terra-cotta, was se- 
ledted. This brick was laid with wide-raked joints of dark-colored mortar, 
and the panels in the spandrel walls were laid in patterns. With the ad- 
vice and splendid co-operation of Gladding, McBean 6? Co. this color har- 
mony between brick and terra-cotta was made possible, producing a very 
gratifying effect." 

The other structures depicted here embrace two schools, a hotel, an 
apartment house, a beach club, a great government institution, a bank, an 
art gallery, and several homes. All are distinguished examples of the Pacific 
Coast architectural renaissance as represented in southernmost California. 



EDITORIAL COMMENT 



SHAPES OF CLAY 

Published by Gladding, McBean & Co. 

General Office: 660 Market Street 

San Francisco 




Edward F. O'Day, Editor 



Vol. in October, 1927 No. 9 

San Diego and its surroundings appeal 
strongly to the artistic mind. One of the 
best short descriptions of the region is 
from the pen of Eugen Neuhaus, the dis' 
tinguished artist who published in 191 5 
a volume dealing with the San Diego 
Exposition entitled The San Diego Gar' 
den Fair. Mr. Neuhaus wrote: 

"... the city of San Diego, feeling its 
way cautiously along the vast expanse 
of the San Diego Bay. It has the typical 
expression of a spontaneously grown 
city, with the characteristic emphasis put 
upon the center by a number of tall 
buildings. . . . There is a peculiarly dif- 
ferent note about San Diego. ... It is as 
if the city had been chosen with regard 
for the most manifold topographical va- 
riation to be found, all within a close 
range. The bay, a well-protected laguna, 
offers such a well- sheltered haven of ref- 
uge that one has difficulty in discovering 
its union with the blue waters of the Pa- 
cific, directly under the protecting bluffs 
of Point Loma, toward the southwest. 
Point Loma reaches out like a strong arm 



into the open sea to shield the city from 
the nagging of the prevailing summer 
winds. Opposite San Diego, on the small 
protective tongue of land which togeth- 
er with the mainland forms the harbor, 
the quaint architectural features of Cor- 
onado loom up. . . . The placid waters 
of the Pacific are not allowed to con- 
tinue uninterruptedly towards the hori- 
zon. Away out in Mexican waters that 
boldly shaped row of islands, the Core 
nado group, furnishes a picture of great 
fascination." 

Such a region is, of course, a challenge 
to the architect. It is bound to bring out 
his powers. This has happened in the 
case of San Diego. The "number of tall 
buildings" noted by Mr. Neuhaus twelve 
years ago has considerably increased. 
Domestic architecture has been greatly 
improved. Not the city alone, but all San 
Diego County has shared the happy re- 
sults that followed when the architects 
of San Diego accepted the challenge of 
a beautiful country. 

* # * 

On the cover of this issue is shown the charm- 
ing church of St. Didacus, San Diego, Frank 
Hope, Jr., architect; Lowerson 6? Wolstencroft, 
general contractors. The roof is of our Junipero 
Variegated Red tile, random laid, and represent- 
ing the extreme kiln-run variation. 
. - # # * 

By an unfortunate error in the September issue 
of Shapes of Clay, the Benjamin Franklin Junior 
High School at Long Beach, California, was in- 
correctly ascribed. The architect for this beau- 
tiful school was John C. Austin. The editor 
begs Mr. Austin to condone the lapse. 




Ill ' Medico-Dental Building, San Diego. F. W. Stevenson, architect. Wm. Simpson Construction Co , general contract' 

ors. These views show the admirable "tie-up" of Granitex terra-cotta, Granitex face brick, and Granada 

roof tile; as also the fine effectiveness of terra-cotta ornament in Italian Renaissance 

adapted to modern American office-building architecture. 




IV ' Medico-Dental Building, San Diego. F. W. Stevenson, architect. Wm. Simpson Construction Co., general contract/ 

ors. In the architect's conception of this monumental structure the texture and color of the facing materials 

played an important part. Hence his selection, after careful consideration, of Granitex terra- 

cotta and Granitex face brick from Gladding, McBean 6? Co. kilns. 




V ' (above) H. F. Schnell Residence, San Diego. F. W. Stevenson, architect Lange &? Bergstrom, general contractors. 

For the walls of this large formal residence the architect selected our Old Rose Ruffle face brick. 

(below) L. C. Robinson Residence, San Diego. Hurlbert 6? Tiafal, designers and builders. This charming home that in- 

terprets the spirit of California's oldest city is roofed with our green-stained Junipero tile. 




VI ' (above) Arthur J. Scully Residence, Coronado. E. V. Ulrich, architect. A. M. Southard Company, general con- 
tractors. A beautiful home in the true tradition of southernmost California, roofed with our Junipero tile. w ' u 
(below) Casa de Manana Hotel, La Jolla. E. V. Ulrich, architect, and superintendent of construction. This lovely hotel 
on the Pacific Ocean beach, in San Diego County, is roofed with our Large Mission variegated red tile. 




VII ' (above) La Jolla Beach and Yacht Club, La Jolla. Robert Stacy Judd, architect and superintendent of construe 

tion. A roof of our Junipero tile gives this white building on the dazzling sands the cool tone of the distant hills. 

(below) Bank of Italy, Ocean Beach Wm. Templeton Johnson, architect.. Edgar F. Hastings, general contradtor. The 

roof tile is our Small Mission; our decorative tile is used inside and out; and for 

the floors, our Santa Monica Promenade. 




VIII ' (above) Mrs. John W. Mitchell Art Gallery, Coronado. Louis J. Gill, architect McGruer & Simpson, general 

contractors. This exquisite shrine of masterpieces is crowned with a Gladding, 

McBean & Co roof of Varicolor Granada tile. 

(below) Mrs. John W. Mitchell Residence, Coronado. Louis J. Gill, architect. McGruer & Simpson, general contract' 

ors. Here our Varicolor Granada tile was found to be the appropriate covering for the roof of a palatial home. 




IX ' (above) Woodrow Wilson Junior High School, San Diego. T. C. Kistner, architect. Wm. Reed Construction 

Co., general contractors. Our Varicolor Granada roof tile was used on this big school. 

(below) Theodore Roosevelt Junior High School, San Diego. T. C. Kistner, architect.. Lowerson, Wolstencroft & 

Eckels, general contractors. Here too the roof is of our Varicolor Granada tile. And our 

hollow tile was used throughout the building. 




X ' (above) Park Manor Apartments, San Diego. Frank P. Allen, architect. M. Trepte 6? Son, general contractors. 

This large apartment building is clothed in our Old Rose Ruffle face brick. 
(below) G. L. Strobeck Residence, San Diego. W. H. Wheeler, archited:. G. L. Strobeck, general contractor. The walls 

have our Old Rose Ruffle face brick, and the roof tile is 
our Varicolor Granada. 




XI ' (above) U. S. Army and Navy Hospital, San Diego, (below) The Nurses' HmiE, another of the important units 

of this great institution. Both these government buildings, erected under the direction of the U. S. 

Bureau of Yards and Docks, Washington, D. C, are roofed with Varicolor 

Granada tile from the kilns of Gladding, McBean c? Co. 



GLADDING, McBEAN & CO. 

Founded 1875 

San Francisco Office, 660 Market Street 

Los Angeles Office, 621 South Hope Street 

Seattle Office, 1500 1st Avenue, South 

Portland Office, 454 Everett Street 

San Francisco Sales Yard, 445 Ninth Street 

Oakland Office and Sales Yard, Twenty-second and Market Streets 

Tacoma Office and Sales Yard, 15th and Dock Streets 

Seattle, University Yard, 4041 University Way 

Fresno Office and Sales Yard, San Joaquin Materials Co., 744 G Street 

* 

Lincoln Plant, Lincoln, Placer County, California 

Tropico Plant, Glendale, Los Angeles County, California 

Los Angeles Plant, College and Date Streets, Los Angeles, California 

Santa Monica Plant, Santa Monica, California 

Alberhill Plant, Alberhill, Riverside County, California 

Auburn Plant, Auburn, Washington 

Renton Plant, Renton, Washington ' Taylor Plant, Taylor, Washington 

Van Asselt Plant, Seattle, Washington < Portland Plant, Portland, Oregon 

* 

TerrA'Cotta: In enamel and unglazed finishes for the 
facing and trim of buildings 

Roof Tile: Both machine and hand-made Tiles in wide color variations 

Face Brick ' Enameled Brick: Bric\for buildings and mantels 

Vitrified Brick, for paving and sewer wor\ » Acid Brick 

Faience and Floor Tile: Tile, glazed and unglazed, 
for floors, walls, bathrooms, terraces, and mantels 

Vitrified Salt Glazed Pipe: For sewage, drainage, and irrigation: 
Conduit pipe, culvert pipe, drain tile, grease traps, flush tan\s, segmental sewer blocks 

Hollow Clay Tile: For partitions and bearing walls 

Fire'Clay Chimney Pipe: Chimney tops, flue linings, gas flues 

Fire Brick and Fire Tile: Fire clay, fire-bric\ dust 

Laundry Trays * Kitchen Sinks 

Garden Pottery: Vases, benches, urns, fountains, pedestals, 
sun dials, and bird baths 




In this bank-room an arresting effed: 

of beauty was obtained by the careful co-ordination 

of a wainscot done in our decorative tile and a floor of our Santa Monica 

Promenade tile. This is the Bank of Italy, Ocean Beach, 

San Diego, for which Wm. Templeton 

Johnson was the architect. 

* 

Gladding, McBean & Co. 



/ . 



Printed by Taylor & Taylor, San Francisco